Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

HDV Sony housings announced!


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10632 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 13 March 2005 - 07:38 AM

Both Sea & Sea and Amphibico announced their housings for the Sony FX1/Z1 housings.
Seems the manufacturers have borrowed from other manufacturers in their solutions.
S&S has excluded the built-in LCD of the VX/PD series for a small 2.5 LCD monitor housing that sits on top of the housing, ala L&M and Amphibico. It's a big housing still, but it's now sexy black like the Gates.The flip filter is now interchangeable with a diopter and the ports are now NX bayonet mount, making all the old accessories useless! The WA lens seems limited at 0.7 standard and 0.48x SWA. Still uses the old Sony grips, no access to camera menu options and the controls are still limited to basic operations so somethings never change. It's slated for May 05 release.
http://seaandsea.com/
On the Amphibico front. the new housing is battleship grey with all the same functions as the all VX/PD series. Now it even has a name... the Phenom. A few new features include playback modes, infrared interface for remote controls and the most interesting of all, firewire download from the housing. The firewire capability is probably a boon for the must see immediately guys. With the new viewfinder window on top of the housing so as to see the FX/Z1's LCD screen, it may be more gimmick than anything but I'm sure it will be useful to the few people who requested this feature.
Amphibico
Looks like HDV is upon us in a big way. The 2 big players have announced with pics. Amphibico had delivery and QC problems with the old VX/PD housing. S&S still sticks to its semi-pro features list in a very nice housing.
L&M has announced but no pics yet.

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#2 UWPhotoTech

UWPhotoTech

    Eagle Ray

  • Industry
  • PipPipPip
  • 352 posts
  • Location:Derry, NH

Posted 13 March 2005 - 10:45 AM

Gates is shipping their housing for the Sony HDFX1/Z1 in a few weeks. Pamela Mertz from Gates shared our booth at the Boston Sea Rover's Show last weekend and displayed the Gates HDFX1 Prototype Housing for the first time anywhere.

Gates lever based controls (as opposed to spring return push buttons) make this the housing of choice for deep diving videographers. This housing coupled with the fantastic Fathom Imaging optics and Green Force HID lights makes a truly professional quality HD Video system.
Underwater Photo-Tech, Derry, NH
Phone: 603-432-1997, Web: www.uwphoto.com

#3 echeng

echeng

    The Blue

  • Admin
  • 5842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco, CA
  • Interests:photography, ice cream, cello, chamber music, quadcopters

Posted 13 March 2005 - 03:20 PM

Posted March 9th:
http://wetpixel.com/...housing-lineup/

I'll link it back to here.
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#4 UWPhotoTech

UWPhotoTech

    Eagle Ray

  • Industry
  • PipPipPip
  • 352 posts
  • Location:Derry, NH

Posted 21 March 2005 - 04:35 PM

To correct some misinformation regarding the Gates FX1 Housing for the Sony HDFX1/Z1 and White Balance control:

The buzz on the trade show floor at the Beneath the Sea show in New Jersey this past weekend was that the Gates FX1 housing does not allow access to the White Balance Control. In complete disbelief I called Pamela at Gates this morning to confirm what I had heard. To set the record straight the Gates FX1 does of course allow access to the White Balance control.
Underwater Photo-Tech, Derry, NH
Phone: 603-432-1997, Web: www.uwphoto.com

#5 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10632 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 23 March 2005 - 01:50 AM

Nice thing about electronic housings are that WB is done with a push of a button WITHOUT lifting your hands off the handles. My personal experience with Gates was a very bad one, a housing that deteriorated in finish and fit plus bad handling due to the balance problems with different ports. Amphibico probably handles the best of the lot, esp with the WAL. Will be interesting to see their macro lens for the housing. At least this time they cannot try to fit legacy lenses to the new housing.

To correct some misinformation regarding the Gates FX1 Housing for the Sony HDFX1/Z1 and White Balance control:

The buzz on the trade show floor at the Beneath the Sea show in New Jersey this past weekend was that the Gates FX1 housing does not allow access to the White Balance Control. In complete disbelief I called Pamela at Gates this morning to confirm what I had heard. To set the record straight the Gates FX1 does of course allow access to the White Balance control.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#6 UWPhotoTech

UWPhotoTech

    Eagle Ray

  • Industry
  • PipPipPip
  • 352 posts
  • Location:Derry, NH

Posted 23 March 2005 - 02:28 PM

My personal experience with Gates was a very bad one, a housing that deteriorated in finish and fit plus bad handling due to the balance problems with different ports.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I thought your comments about Gates Housings warranted more than my personal opinion, the following reply is from John Ellerbrock, the owner of Gates Housings:

"In this case it’s hard to address the finish issue without knowing more. Is it black or silver? Regardless we welcome the opportunity to make Scubadru a satisfied customer."

"Regarding the balance, this is a problem with all manufacturers. Not that this is in an excuse, but when you add lights/monitor/ports it throws obviously changes the balance and trim of any housing. Again, we welcome get the opportunity to make it right."

"One final note: we have planned into the FX1/Z1 a more flexible balance/trim setup, so I think users will like the ability to establish proper balance/trim regardless of their particular configuration. This becomes especially challenging for Gates as we offer quite a few options to suit the specific needs of each user/application. This is a strength of the Gates product as most professionals are somewhat particular with their equipment, and want it ‘just so’."

John Ellerbrock, Gates Housings
Underwater Photo-Tech, Derry, NH
Phone: 603-432-1997, Web: www.uwphoto.com

#7 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10632 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 25 March 2005 - 06:56 PM

UWPhotoTech
Didn't know you work for Gates. Thanks for the effort but I've dealt with it long ago. I am just disappointed in the quality of the housing materials and also disagree with the design philosophy namely the mechanical controls.
After buying the S&S housing for the PD/VX2k and (knocking on wood) not having an electronic failure for about 4 years with over 700 dives, I'd have to endorse their product even if they also have design idiosyncracies that have remained for YEARS(eg. still using those sony grips,which are very reliable however)
I also had a chance to dive on 3 trips with the Amphibico when my S&S was in for servicing then stuck in customs. The electronics were excellent for ease of use and only had 1 hiccup in about 100+ dives. It lacked super macro ability but the balance and handling were superb, just like it was with my VX1k Amphibico housing. In fact I was on the list for the Amphibico but they couldn't deliver on time. Also when they actually did deliver, it had a lot of teething problems with electronics.

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#8 UWPhotoTech

UWPhotoTech

    Eagle Ray

  • Industry
  • PipPipPip
  • 352 posts
  • Location:Derry, NH

Posted 26 March 2005 - 10:21 AM

No I don't work for Gates, it would be kind of a long morning commute, 3,131.7 miles to be exact. :blink:
Underwater Photo-Tech, Derry, NH
Phone: 603-432-1997, Web: www.uwphoto.com

#9 Nick Hope

Nick Hope

    Sperm Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1975 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Thailand

Posted 17 April 2005 - 01:18 AM

I'm definitely in the market for a Z1 housing at some stage and the battle is looking very interesting.

Well, I'm a Gates user. I have their VX2000 housing and, now I've customised it, I'm happy with it. I used Amphibico's VX2000 housing on 30 dives and I had problems with stiff/sticking controls and a minor leak. The owner said these problems are now resolved however, but after problems with L&M electronics too, I'm the world's number one fan of mechanical controls.

It looks like Amphibico have scored an important point by incorporating firewire access through the housing. This would be invaluable to me so I don't need to disassemble things to capture between dives. Their aspheric lens is also a lot cheaper than Gates' forthcoming Fathom Imaging model.

There are mountings on top of the Gates that look like they are for buoyancy tubes or something to adjust the trim. It will be interesting to see.

I just wish someone would produce a housing for the FX1/Z1 that provides a port to view the camera's built-in monitor in the UPRIGHT position. Then we wouldn't need an external monitor at all with its associated height increase. I believe the image would be big enough. The Gates looks incredibly tall already even before adding a monitor. There'll be no squeezing that monster into cracks and crevices! Amphibico have put a horizontal window on the top of their housing, which will be of little use during most shooting situations but useful for playback. I'd settle for a monitor back instead though, or even a mirror system. Anything to keep the height down.

The other problem (correct me if I'm wrong) is that the manufacturers don't yet seem to be offering an external monitor with 16:9 viewing capability, so the monitored image is going to be highly distorted. I see this as a major disadvantage. It's a bugger to compose shots when viewing 16:9 on a 4:3 monitor.

For me, the jury is still well and truly out.

ScubaDru, have you used Amphibico's aspheric port? Do you know how it compares with the Fathom Imaging models?

Nick

#10 MikeVeitch

MikeVeitch

    1.7kbps Manta Boy

  • Senior Moderator
  • 6181 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In Bali, Indonesia but from Vancouver, BC
  • Interests:Teaching Underwater Photography

Posted 17 April 2005 - 01:34 AM

We're looking at this as well at the moment. I am a Gates person and my shooting partner has always used Amphibico! As we are only getting one camera at this point, hopefully ordering this week, we are leaning toward the Amphibico (he's putting up the money not me...) so hopefully can give a bit of a review in a few weeks time. I do know that Camdiver over in Palau is going Gates for the first time so maybe he can give his impression on that system? You reading this Mark???!!!
Nick: Upright port for monitor? Not sure what you mean by that, i still think external is the way to go, sure it sucks height wise but for aerodynamics and handling? Still think i would prefer external...

Join us for an Underwater Photography Workshop in Ambon March 2015
Blog and Photo Archive/Portfolio Site www.mikeveitchblog.com
Learn underwater photography in Indonesia or Join me on a trip www.underwatertribe.com


#11 pmooney

pmooney

    Orca

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1229 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cairns Australia
  • Interests:Growing Grapes

Posted 17 April 2005 - 04:29 AM

Nice thing about electronic housings are that  WB is done with a push of a button WITHOUT lifting your hands off the handles.



Having just taken delivery of a number of Gates HDV housings ( I believe them to be the first shipped ) I feel uniquely qualified to refute this statement.

Having average sized hands I am able to maintain my grip on the handles and manually white balance - simply use you thumb ) without letting go of the handles.

The simple functionality of this unit is fantastic.

It is possible to put the camera into full manual mode ( something not many video people do ) and access all controls without letting go of the grips.

I do admit that I had reservations when I first unpacked them ( 3 units complete with squids and full sets of ports - fathoms are still to ship ) - but they all dissapeared as I took the time to become familiar with the new layout.


There is no doubt that the Gates FX1 housing is sizable , ALL housings for this camera will be of similar proportions - simply an unfortunate result of the camera's actual dimensions.


Cheers

Peter

PS

I also have a number of electronic housings ( Amphibico - shipping 3rd week May & Light & Motion - guestimated as shipping September) on order - having learned that not all square pegs fit into square holes.

#12 Nick Hope

Nick Hope

    Sperm Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1975 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Thailand

Posted 17 April 2005 - 05:22 AM

Mike, I was under the impression that the monitor on a FX1 or Z1 would actually fold up vertically and centrally ON TOP of the camera. Looking more closely at the pics it looks like it's still off to the side, but I still don't see why an asymmetrical housing could not be produced with a window for it.

Peter, some questions:

Have you had the Gates unit in the water yet? How's the buoyancy?
Are you saying that the white balance access is totally different to the awkwardness of their VX2000/2100 housings?
What about external monitor options? There looks to be no mount for the existing monitors.

By the way, what's a squid? :D

#13 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8376 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 17 April 2005 - 05:28 AM

When it comes to video - I know nothing! But here is a picture of the Gates HDV housing I took while I was in Cayman - which might help the discussion.

Alex

Attached Images

  • chris_hdv.jpg

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#14 pmooney

pmooney

    Orca

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1229 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cairns Australia
  • Interests:Growing Grapes

Posted 17 April 2005 - 06:29 AM

Nick,

I am yet to get them wet.

As luck would have it - a full blown sinus / chest infection arrived the same day they did . still it's given me plenty of time to get familiar with the controls.

I am taking them up to West Iran Jaya May 7 thru Jun 4 - not to bad for a first date.

The Squids are the HID light system developed as a collaboration between Greenforce and Gates. They are just dandy and give out a very fine quality of light ( nice and white ) The burn times are excellent.

Best

Peter